Democratisation of design for functional objects manufactured by fused deposition modelling (FDM): Lessons from the design of three everyday artefacts

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Goudswaard, Mark; Hicks, Ben; Gopsill, James; Nassehi, Aydin
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Section: Design for X, Design to X
Page(s): 219-228
ISBN: 978-1-904670-93-3
ISSN: 2220-4342


The purpose of this paper is to explore how the democratisation of design can be achieved for useful items manufactured by Filament Deposition Modelling (FDM). This is achieved through a design study that involves the identification of typical functional objects manufactured by FDM and then performing and mapping the design process for these items. Through analysis of the respective difficulties contributed by different categories of actions, four areas of the design process are identified as requiring improvement in order to democratise design. The study also finds that it is easier to amend models than it is to generate them from scratch. This leads to the consideration of democratising design through amending existing models in design repositories, such as Thingiverse. The discussion examines the consequences of these findings and how they impact the requirements and possible functionality of a system that could meet the challenge of democratising FDM design.

Keywords: 3D printing, Case study, Collaborative design, Democratisation of design

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